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Scottish Jokes

The Scottish Highlander in past history has been more associated with strokes of the claymore than with
strokes of wit. The Highlander though is a gentleman by nature, and, conspicuous for his courtesy. There is also much about him of the solemnity of his mountains, and his humor is generally of the dry and quiet variety. The Scottish Highlander has an intense love of Scotland and an unbreakable bond to kith and kin. The Highlander gets credit for canniness and caution, not only in conduct but in speech. If with the barometer falling, and a wet looking sky darkening overhead, you ask a Highlander if it is going to rain, you will probably get the reply, “Well, I wouldn't say but that it might.” If you ask his opinion of a song, he is apt (though he has greatly enjoyed it) to confine himself to the guarded remark, “ Not so bad.”

The Highlander, like most people, enjoys an honest
compliment, but does not usually like to show it. Once, when Queen Victoria was on her way to Balmoral, a Lord in Perth, who had a magnificent vinery, sent a basket of his finest hothouse grapes, to be handed, with his best compliments, into the Royal carriage. Queen Victoria not only accepted them, but wrote a note from Balmoral complimenting the gentleman on the singular excellence of his fruit. The gentleman knew how proud his gardener would be at such a compliment, especially from the Queen. So he took the note down to the vinery, and handed it to him to read, saying, “There, John that’s from
the Queen.” The gardener took the note, read it slowly and carefully, as if checking an account, and, after a reflective pause, said to his master, “She doesn't say anything about sending back the basket.”

The Highlander, like all Scots, never forgets the field on which Scotland’s independence was finally gained; nor
is he slow to joke his English friends about it, good-
naturedly, when a chance occurs. One Englishman, who was finding fault with everything Scottish, said to a Highlander, that nobody who had once seen England, would ever think of coming and remaining in Scotland. The Highlander, who was a patriot, and bit of a wit, replied, “Well, tastes differ. I can take you to a place, not far from Stirling, where thirty thousand of your countrymen have been for five hundred years, and none of them have thought of leaving yet.”

When a Highlander fresh from Skye was taken by a friend in Glasgow to hear one ot the great city divines, and was asked on leaving the church what he thought of him, he shook his head gravely, “I didn't like him at all. Did you
not hear how he said God instead of GAWD. No: there’s no seriousness in that man, none whatever.” The remark was thoroughly characteristic.

A story is also told of a Jacobite landowner who was requested to allow a stone to be quarried on his estate for a monument to Sir Robert Munro, of Foulis, an officer of the Royal army who fell at The Battle of Falkirk. On being remonstrated with by some Jacobite friends for making this concession, he said, “It’s a pleasure. I wish they were asking headstones for them all.”

The Highlander lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite scones wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With laboured breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite scones. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His salivating lips parted; the wondrous taste of the scone was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a scone at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spoon by his wife. "Stay out of those!" she snapped. "They're for the funeral."

After the battle of Prestonpans, a wild mountaineer was stripping the body of a dead officer, when a comrade came up and begged a share of the plunder. “ No, no, ” said Donald, “you can kill a gentleman for yourself.”

Sandy MacDonald, who was getting on in years had unexpectedly been appointed bell-ringer in the Highland Parish Church much to the surprise and delighted satisfaction of his wife. She made no secret of her pleasure and lost no time in advising all and sundry of the good news.

" Have you heard of the job my man has just gotten, " she asked her neighbors.

" No, " replied one, " what is it ? "

" The ringing of the Church bell, " replied the proud wife.

" And what wage comes with that ? " came the vital question.

" Oh, he's very well paid, " said Mrs MacDonald, " he gets an excellent wage and a free grave! "

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